The 5 Cs of Communication by Forbes and Sheeba Varghese Career Coach

Written by Sheeba Varghese

Why Understanding Communication is Key.

I have never met a person who doesn't communicate in some way, shape, or form...have you? We all know communication is extremely important as a leader, within our families, with our goals, on social media, and the list goes on. Communicating effectively helps us share how we feel, delegate to our team, set new expectations, handle conflict, cultivate trust; it’s how we interact on a daily basis.

Did you realize that you are always communicating? From slack messages, to zoom meetings, you are communicating with your facial expression, posture, words, tone, and even with emojis.

With the rapid pace we are moving these days, clear communication is being overlooked in favor of "getting the job done". In the aftermath, we are finding that results may occur, but it is happening at a great cost. When one thinks of remote teams, hybrid teams, global teams, multi-generational teams, great care actually needs to be taken when we are communicating. 

What are the two types of communication?

Verbal: Verbal communication is "interpersonal communication that includes oral communication, written communication, and sign language. Verbal communication relies on words to convey meaning between two or more people." And it seems more and more, that our verbal communication needs a decoder in many situations. People are talking at each other, and over each other, but not really with each other. 

Nonverbal: Nonverbal communication, the other type, "encompasses a whole host of physicalized cues that convey emotional states and complement verbal messages. Nonverbal human communication involves many different parts of the body and can be either conscious or subconscious on the part of the communicator." And sadly, people make many assumptions with nonverbal communication. For example, a face showing a lack of emotion can seem like the person is not interested, while silence can be interpreted as a lack of interest or understanding; while both assumptions may be far from the truth. 

Both verbal and nonverbal forms of communication are key in life and in business. You cannot have one without the other. Two tools that I use with clients to help them understand the various communication styles are DiSC and TypeCoach. 


A Forbes article discusses the 5C's of communication as this:

Be Clear: Know what you need and want from someone before you tell them. Try not to react emotionally or defensively.

Be Concise: Keep what you're saying simple and direct and keep the conversation moving forward.

Provide a Compelling request: Offer a solution to the person that you would be happy with. 

Be Curious: Ask the other person what they need and what issues they may have. Don't let the conversation be one-sided.

Be Compassionate: Put your own opinions and assumptions about someone aside when you're listening to them. This will help them open up more to you.

I also would add a 6th one that is just as important as these other points. 

Be Conscientious: Be aware of your nonverbal communication and what it is saying to the other person. Self-awareness is critical when you are communicating something.



Sheeba Varghese is an award winning Leadership Trainer and Executive Coach who's clients include Emerging Leaders, Managers, Senior Directors, Vice Presidents and Partners who seek leadership excellence within their role and/or teams. She helps teams communicate, and can assist with DiSC and Typecoach assessments. You can read Sheeba's other articles HERE.